Hi-Point C9 9mm Handgun Review – Shooting Impressions & Field Strip

Hi Point C9 by Graham Baates

U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- It's not likely you'll find someone who knows even a little about firearms who hasn't heard the name Hi-Point.  It's also very likely they'll have something negative to say about them despite never having owned or shot one.  I enjoy firearms literacy and feel that understanding a firearm's intent and design is an important part of being able to properly experience them.  It seems a shockingly-high percentage of the shooting community are illiterate when it comes to Hi-Point pistols so let's take a closer look.

While it is easy to admire the latest $3,000 custom piece, many seem to have missed the intent of Hi-Point; to create a quality firearm that anyone can afford.  Taking into account where most violent crimes occur this is a very noble cause.  Who do you think it more likely to suddenly need a pistol for home defense, the six-figure executive or the inner-city single mother with an aggressive “baby daddy”? Hi-Points are priced at a point where most anyone could afford to pick one up on their way home without needing to budget for it.  Better yet that firearm is backed by a warranty that has even accepted a carbine needing to be barreled after an unknowing owner got a few-dozen slugs stuck in it.

Whenever I post about Hi-Points the trolls inevitably come out and begin to trash talk them.  As we all know trolls tend to be the most ignorant about any subject they so obnoxiously post about, so let's give them some fodder.  The two comments I hear the most are that Hi-Points are ugly and “trash”; more useful as a hammer than a pistol.  Aesthetics is a personal opinion that requires no fact so we can let that part slide.  Reliability and function however must be fact based.

Let's give the trolls something fodder.  Watch the range review video below:

As you saw the C9 only had issues cycling a rather obscure 100gr frangible load.  With all other loads from 90gr to 158gr including hollow points, flat-points, and FMJ, steel-cased, aluminum-cased, and traditional brass all ran.  Accuracy was impressive thanks to the fixed barrel of this blow-back-operated handgun.  While on the topic of blow-back operation, that system is responsible in part for the affordability of the C9, and also the aesthetics.

Blow-back operation does not have a locked breech.  Instead it is the mass of the slide or bolt combined with strength of the operating spring that keep the chamber closed until pressure has dropped off to a safe level.  This requires either a lot of mass in the slide/bolt or a strong spring.  To keep the pistol operable by the average shooter Hi-Point kept the recoil spring softer and instead increased slide mass.  That is why Hi-Points are shaped the way they are.

To get a better look at the construction and design of the Hi-Point C9 see the tabletop video below.

I hope between these two videos the point of Hi-Point has been made clear, and although it's a sample size of one, the C9 tested proved more reliable and more accurate than a few other pistols we've tested that cost hundreds of dollar more.  If that's got your interest in trying one of these incredibly-affordable pieces the specifications and features below were taken directly from the product web page.

  • Barrel length: 3.5″
  • Overall length: 6.75″
  • Weight: 29 oz.
  • Frame: High-impact polymer
  • Finish: Black powder coat or hydro-dipped depending on model
  • Capacity: 8-shot mag standard (10-shot avail)
  • Sights: 3-dots, fully-adjustable rear sight
Other Note-worthy characteristics:
  • +P rated
  • High-impact polymer frame
  • High-impact grips
  • Durable, attractive easy-grip finish
  • 3-dot, fully adjustable sights
  • Free extra rear peep sight
  • Last round lock open
  • Magazine disconnect safety
  • Quick on-off thumb safety
  • Operations & safety sheet
  • Lifetime warranty

G B Guns

About Graham Baates

“Graham Baates” is a pen name used by a 15-year active Army veteran who spent most of his time in the tactical side of the Intelligence community including tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Post-Army Graham spent some time in the local 3-Gun circuit before becoming a full-time NRA Certified defensive handgun instructor and now works as an industry writer while curating a YouTube channel on the side. Visit Graham on Youtube .

  • 57 thoughts on “Hi-Point C9 9mm Handgun Review – Shooting Impressions & Field Strip

    1. If it won’t cycle frangible rounds then it’s no good for protection. The inner-city single mother with an aggressive baby daddy will miss and kill a neighbor. I owned a high point 9mm in my younger days. It was huge.

    2. I owned a Highpoint in the past. Sold it when I moved with my family from NY to NC, didn’t think I’d need it. Shoulda kept it. It was a flawless weapon. I have since bought a Ruger LCP and a Taurus G2C in .40 S&W, got a great deal on both. I’m not a 5-day-a-week range guy. These 2 pistols serve my needs just fine, but honestly, I miss my Highpoint. Big, heavy, ugly… but shot like a dream. Thinking about getting another one, to keep in my nightstand.

    3. When Barry was playing wannabe tyrant, the gun rush was on! Prices started soaring, so I dropped a bill and a half on a C9 for grins n’ giggles. Decent pistol for the price. Reloads had an issue jamming, so I polished the rail, and heat temper expanded the magazine spring. Haven’t had a jam since. Field stripping was always an issue because the slide pin is a pain in the buttocks to remove while pulling the slide, but I don’t plan on stripping and cleaning in the boonies. Main point, great gun for the price. Wish more companies would provide quality pistols for next to nothing, but that inflation brought to us by uncle scam and his partner in crime F ed bank is a kick in the walet.

    4. While I have never fired the Hi-Point 9mm, I have examined it and was favorably impressed. It is intimidating looking (a feature which could save you from needing to shoot in a confrontation), it fills the hand, points well and feels like it has authority. With the other features outlined in the video, I see no reason one should not seriously consider for at least home defense, or where legal, defense in one’s motor vehicle. Of course, the video’s sampling of ammunition brands must be taken into account for reliable shooting.

    5. They are big, ugly, and smell funny but go bang when you pull the trigger and are fun to shoot. My C9 cost $150 brand new. Quit buying guns at Gander Mountain.

    6. My only “criticism” of the C9 is that for the same size, weight, and money, you can get a carry gun with higher capacity. Price is no longer a problem when you look at the Taurus PT-111 Millennium G2 and newer G2C’s (the G2C’s are identical, just minus the goofy keyed slide lock that nobody liked or used on the older G2’s), commonly available for ~$200. They come with TWO 12 round magazines (or two 10 rounders if you live in a commie state). Every now and then Taurus will have a rebate going on these models too, which drops the price down to $175-ish, possibly less, depending on when and where you shop. Their features include a loaded chamber indicator, a rear sight that is easily adjustable for both windage and elevation, and have good aftermarket parts availability via Lake Line LLC:
      https://lakelinellc.com/product-category/taurus-pistol-parts-and-accessories/
      and Galloway Precision:
      https://gallowayprecision.com/taurus/

      Both places offer a very nice stainless steel recoil rod and spring assembly, better than factory, with Galloway offering an 18 lb spring option, 2 pounds stronger than the factory 16 lb spring, for handling snappier rounds and/or for less perceived recoil. Nothing like being able to fine tune your inexpensive semi-auto. Lake Line LLC offers fiber optic and tritium night sights and etc. as well. It is good to have an affordable upgrade path available! I recommend simply visiting both sights and perusing everything there is to see, for these and various other handgun makes and models.

      So for roughly the same size (actually smaller) and money you can get all of the above, as opposed to just the basic C9, albeit with it’s _outstanding_ forever warranty. I do very much like Hi-Point’s pistol caliber carbines and their .45 handgun is a lot of fun as well. But for 9mm it is hard to beat the Taurus G2 / G2C’s which are priced very close to same, and which have a possibly crucial upgrade path via the above websites, depending on what you are using these for.

      Just food for thought.

    7. I bought aC9 over 20 years ago with a compensated barrel. To this day it is still fun to shoot and it cycles very well every time I shoot it. And with a lifetime warranty you can’t beat it. And back then it only cost a little over a hundred dollars.

    8. I have a C-9. Purchased 5 years ago. Why you ask? Money was tight. $241 later I have a pistol that shoots n shoots. Granted, have had a few ftf’s, but also have m&p shields in 9mm n .40 and have that issue also. I mostly keep my C-9 close to where I spend most of my time. I have
      4 10 rnd mags, and 3 8 rnd mags. Whenst I do take it to the range, it’s like a hungry beast screaming feed me. I run different rounds continually thru it. I carry my shields as the C-9 is a bit bulky, but when my cams alarm or my basset hound alerts in the nite, its my go to. Best purchase I made.

      1. The Hi-Point is probably more likely to save your life with ammo it likes. The S&Ws might get you killed sometime when their recoil springs decide to wander about and tie the gun up when you need it most. I have one that has seized solid twice and tried to twice more in 2-1/2 years. Why do you NEVER hear of reviwers bringing this up?? Sucking up for a paycheck? A simple mill cut in the face of the barrel recoil lug (that virtually everybody else applies) would solve that “minor” problem. The SDs, M&Ps, Shields and all have this defect. The face of the guide rod just slides all over the place and even off of the lug. Too much of an angle and the slide cannot travel to the rear. Took HOURS to disassemble it once.

    9. I have owned Hi-Points, Carbines and pistols, Had good had a couple of problems. Most of my problems were with Ammo, stick with P+ and problems clear up, 1st pistol was great, traded off for a pricey 45, 2nd a whole different story, stove pipe, broken magazine springs, I thought I really screwed up, I called the factory and was told to send everything back, all went back, gun came back repaired, all magazines replaced, no charge. 3 months later, problems again, stove pipe again, I sent it back a second time with a letter that I couldn’t handle it as a daily carry as I didn’t trust it to work in an emergency, 2 weeks later it was back and the shop called to tell me, I went down to pick it up, my same box, I pulled it out of the plastic bag, cleared it and pointed it at the wall, and told the shop owner that it wasn’t my gun, he almost flipped, checked the serial # all matched. I bought 300 rounds and headed to the range, this was my hammer test, worked great. I called the factory and asked if it was replaced, answer was that if they are returned a 2nd time the gun is trashed and a replacement is sent out, talk about a warranty, I’m sold on them, heavy, ugly, yes but with people and a warranty like that you can’t want for much more. I have several Hi-Points and that was the only one I ever had a problem with. Since the a friend of mine took a carbine apart way beyond what should have taken down, lost parts and asked me what to do, send it back and see what happens, a couple of weeks later, the gun is returned, assembled, No Charge, only there was a note to him as to the gun didn’t need to be disassembled as far as he did, basic cleaning keep it working fine, he still has the gun and loves it! So if anything I do own some pricey guns but if I want to have some real fun I bring out the Hi-Points and have had it for a fun time!

    10. I have all the pistols. Best hand guns dollar for dollar on the market. Have shot thousands of rounds through them over the years, both manufactured and hand load and had very few problems with them. Their customer service is better than anyone out there. If you need parts call them and they will send them to you for free. I have complete spring sets, trigger sets and firing pins for each gun at home for no cost to me. Let haters be haters. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Most just look and say that the guns are crap because of weight, looks and price. I love mine and will never change.

        1. @Mr. Bill Yes, his aural perception as a direct response to visual stimulation is evidence of a psychotic episode. Roy D. Mercer could very well by a danger to himself or the public, by his own admissions.

      1. R.D. Mercer. Funny! “I’m fixin’ to come on down there and open up a can of . . . . ” Haven’t listened to any of that stuff for quite a while. Gonna have to look up some of that on YouTube now.

    11. I have a .45acp hi-point with a polished feed ramp and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, I have put hundreds of rounds through it, of all different types of ammo. I have found mine doesn’t like Speer dot gold the lead at the tip smashes on the feed ramp and won’t chamber but full jacketed ammo loads every time, unless it’s UMC ammo and I have had problems with it on every one of my guns. I can hit a quarter and a nickel size target dot every time at 50+ feet with my hi-point .45, and so can my wife, we both prefer it over my Taurus and my Ruger, it’s ugly, it’s heavy, it’s a brick but it’s our “Brick”

      1. Like you I have the .45 ACP hi-point and I wouldn’t trade it for anything the only problem is I can’t buy a hi-point handgun in my state now and I would like to get another hi-point handgun in a 9mm handgun, because my .45 is so reliable and every time I take it out to shoot it goes boom I’ve never had a single problem and I ordered a 9mm hi-point carbine because I’ve found I like the quality of the product and being American made and there warranty is hard to beat who cares if it’s ugly and heavy I’ll keep it and keep shooting it and for home protection.

    12. burgandy bomber is a goddess !!! all that and she can shoot your eye out at 25 yards !!! God bless her little heart !!!

    13. HiPoint has done much to improve their reliability. The new ones are much better than the older models both in reliability and accuracy. The pistols shoot where you point them, so work on YOUR accuracy…the carbines not so much (3” group at 50 yards? Come on HiPoint, you can do better). The HiPoint guarantee and customer service is terrific…much better than some of those snooty, boutique-brand, custom made safe queens we all have bought.
      Buy one, keep it clean and serviceable (and on the wet side with a good oil) and for you knitters and chess players out there, strengthen your wrists a bit so that big slide has something to push against… It will work for you every time.

      1. You mentioned 3 inch groups at 50 yards with your carbines. I have not had this issue. I have both a .45 and the new 10mm (btw the extended mags for the .45 work in the 10mm) and have exceptional groups. I consistently get 2 1/4 inch groups at 100 yards with the 10mm and about 3 inch at 100 with the .45. at 50 yards I’m usually stacking shots with either piece. I typically notice the groups opening up at 75 yards. This is with iron sights by the way (I don’t believe in red dots)

        1. Replace the assembly pins with threaded fasteners that hold the bolt shroud securely to the action and watch your groups shrink.

    14. just an observation.. the honor defense rounds didn’t look like they were powerfull enough to fully cycle the slide… it appeared to be short stroking..

      1. Saw that, too. I’ve run into that with Hornady Critical Defense Lite and Sig V-Crown 365s in a full size 9mm. The light loads specifically tailored for small pistols will not cycle the mass of the slide on the Hi-Points or the stronger springs on some pistols.

    15. My own experience is that:
      If you clean, and lubricate it with high quality materials, and use good quality ammunition,
      The high point has been a joy to own.
      I had a glock 17 previously. Couldn’t wait to get rid of that glock.. Shells ejected in my face, take down pin too small, and ammo picky.
      Hi point, though a bit heavier, actually balanced better. Shoots well, with no issues, And I do not get spent cases in my face. Btw, which is also why I pass on the S/W m+p. Much prefer S/A XD series as better choice..

    16. Hi-point got a rap like Taurus did. Do I own one, no.. will i… probably not. Are they ugly… yes . But they work and like it said in the article, they were intended for those who need protection who dont have money for fancy.

      1. Well, see, Hi Point will gladly replace that broken trigger for you.

        When you buy a Hi Point, take it to the range and run it through as much ammo as you can afford for the range time. If it breaks, send it back to hi point and they will fix it or replace it at no cost to you. If it survives those first few hundred rounds, you have a gun that will probably last longer than you do provided you take care of it.

        1. I wouldn’t trust a gun that brakes after 15 rounds I would send it in to get fixed then I would sell it for what I could get out of it. I have had a Jimenez 380 acp and a 9mm both had less then 500 rounds before the firing pin brake and that’s the last time I went cheap on a gun I now have a para ordinance 1911 no issues after the brake in point

    17. I own the Hi-point JCP40 and 4095ts. Both are super dependable shooters. The JCP40 is a Beast. Weighs as much as my 12 gauge. Kicks about the same and probably about the same range of distance for hitting a target. If ya don’t have plugs in your ears then you’ll be deaf for 2-3 days after firing a round. But it fires every time. The Carbine sibling is a princess in comparison and the favorite if ya wanna get technical. But I never said that…….

      1. I have had several Hi-Point C9s and a couple of the carbines. The guns are incredibly accurate and reliable. Little bit heavy on top. But so am I. For the money it can’t be beat. Life time warranty no questions asked. The only problem I ever had with any of them was bad ammo. It was not the guns fault. I had some weak loads but the guns are great. The only reason I don’t have them now is I started a new collection of only one brand. But I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a High Point to a new shooter.

    18. I traded a lady friend a Gen 2 Glock 17 for the Hi Point pistol I have. I did this because I feared for her life after she ended a relationship with a phycos boyfriend. She actually ended up blowing him away. He took 13 of the 17 rounds to put him down. Being that the Hi Point she purchased new won’t get through a magazine without a stoppage, she probably would be the one to end up dead that night.

      1. Sorry to hear that the only Hi-Point you’ve ever used hasn’t fed ammo reliably since the day it was purchased. However, good news for you! Hi-Point has a lifetime no-questions-asked warranty and doesn’t care if you’re the original owner or not. Contact them and tell them the problem. They’ll take it and either fix it or give you a new pistol. Then try it and see if your range experience doesn’t match what most everyone else is telling you.

        I’ve got lots of more expensive pistols, plus a couple of Hi-Point JHP .45s and their .45 carbine. My Hi-Points have all been utterly reliable and accurate. Dollar for dollar, they’re a great value. I hope you’ll have a good experience with yours once you get it fixed.

    19. Had a Hi Point C9 for well over 20 years first one slide was loose sent in and they replaced it with a brand new gun , I’ve had that gun well 10 years it shoots just as good as my police friends Glock and it has never let me down for has it ever jammed

    20. I own a c-9 and use it as a truck gun. I own other guns that run better, but the Hi point shoots great! The trigger is my only complaint. The gun is die hard and will run after abuse and neglect.

    21. I live in Montana and owned a High Point for about 10 years. In 10 years we probably shot 1000 rounds through it. In 10 years it was never cleaned. In 10 years it spent all of its life under the seat of our truck. In 10 years it went through three boys learning to shoot. The gun has been dropped in the snow and in the dirt. In 10 years it has always shot a full clip through it. I have some very expensive guns in the gun case that are treated like royalty, and those guns have jammed and malfunctioned at one time or another for me. This cheap High Point 9 mm has never ever let us down. I would recommend that gun to anybody that is learning to shoot or or teaching their kids to shoot. Now all of our kids are grown and gone so the gun was given to a friend of ours on the crow Indian reservation because they are having issues with black bears on their front porch. So the gun is in use yet today and operating perfectly. I would never ever hesitate to buy another high point again. As a matter fact , I highly recommend purchasing one and leaving it under the seat of your vehicle or in your glove box as a back up. It will never let you down. Or at least I can say it has never let our family down here in Montana.

    22. I agree that the Hi-Point pistol does fill a niche, just like the Ford Pinto, 75% lean ground beef, and dollar store hammers. Maybe that’s a little harsh, but there’s definitely a confidence gap that is associated with budget pistol, and it’s offered earned. There thing I always am surprised by, though, is there the contrast in popularity between the C9 and the pistol-caliber carbines Hi-Point (used to?) sell.

    23. I own one and it is a piece of crap! Should be called high point jamomatic. I have never been able to shoot a full clip through it.

      1. First off, it’s not a “clip”, it’s a magazine. Second, have your properly cleaned and lubricated it? What kind of ammo have you tried?

        1. Your wrong. Even the NRA recognizes that the term clip and magazine are interchangeable in the common usage.
          We all know the difference but they both feed ammunition so it’s irrelevant.
          I have a Hi Point pistol. It is a POS. It’s never gotten through a full magazine with out a stoppage. I have 4 mags and it chokes with all of them. I also have a Raven .25 acp and a Jennings .22 LR pistol. Nither one of these very inexpensive pistols has ever quit. Like the Hi Point these little pistols were intended for people that can’t afford anything else. I purchased these two for $ 55 each with a box of ammo and a Strong IWB holster thrown in the deal. I purchased these pistols just for the fun of having them. My EDC is a Gen 5 Glock 19. The bottom line is if you have a $150 life, defend it with a $150 pistol.
          Lot’s a luck Chuck you’ll need it. In all honesty if I was that cash strapped I go to the hardware store and purchase a heavy claw hammer. That never jams.

          1. I don’t give a flying fig who claims a magazine and a clip are interchangeable terms. The items are not interchangeable and the terms aren’t either. Wrong is wrong no matter what the NRA (Wayne LaPierre’s personal cash cow) or anyone else claims. The NRA apparently doesn’t know the difference or is trying to change the terminology to suit their own purposes. I’ll bet LaPierre called a magazine a clip one day and someone in the office nailed him on it and he decided that “His Majesty LaPierre cannot admit fault”, hence the decision to try and change the terminology and if it happened that way, I’ll bet the guy who corrected LaPierre is no longer working there.

          2. But clips don’t always feed ammunition, sometimes clips are used to fill magazines. Where did the NRA say the terms are interchangeable?

            1. That problem is feeding to fast.
              Empty the mag. Gently pinch with pliers the wings at top of the mag. If it still over feed. Pinch it some more. These works

          3. No, you’re wrong.
            Clip and Magazine are not interchangeable.
            Get a dictionary.

            And who admits to owning a Jennings, a Raven, and a HiPoint??

          4. Baloney. Show me where the NRA has said their instructors can teach that the words “clips and magazines” are interchangeable in meaning. I’ve been an instructor for more decades than I can count and I teach the difference in every class.

            I’ll wait for you to show me where they’ve revised that right along side of the revision that says “blended training” was such a fabulous idea! (Instructors will know exactly what I’m talking about)

            1. “more decades than you can count” ?
              If you really can’t count over 4, I don’t think you should be instructing anything…

              I have owned a c9 as well. Had to hold the magazine in place while firing or it would just fall out. Would usually make it through the whole thing without jamming, maybe 90% of the time I’d say. And the internal safeties are a bit of a joke, thin metal tab to keep the trigger from moving but nothing to prevent striker from releasing if jarred or dropped. Definitely serves a purpose and it’s definitely better than nothing. It’s fine for the range or playing or learning but for self defense i would rather spend $200 more than risk even a 1% chance of losing my family.

          5. Hey Furbush (what kind of name is that?) the NRA does NOT use the terms interchangeably. they are two completely different items much as a revolver is different from a semi-auto. and fr what it is worth–the damn Hi-Points wild low in cost actually out
            shoot the big bucks guns a bunch, and you will not cry if you scratch one–but scratch that $900 Kimber and the tears will flow.

          6. I’ll take that POS and mags off your hands for a reasonable price, look me up. Since we are talking about a USED POS, lets negotiate a realistic low price.

    24. I was range qualifying with a Taurus pt-92. Wasn’t satisfied with what was going down range.switched to my Hi- Point 45.Was hitting nothing but center for the rest of qualifying.Also, I always wondered why the high dollar pieces never come with life time warranty?just picked up my new Canek 9mm ,Series one pistol today, with a life time warranty..!hint hint Kimber, Colt,Smith Wesson.not saying their bad firearms, just for 3 times the price,,,,,,come on.

        1. Unfortunately, they don’t have a lifetime warranty. See here: https://www.smith-wesson.com/customer-service/warranty

          It a limited one-year warranty, only for the original purchaser—it doesn’t transfer to another owner. They do have a Lifetime Service Policy (not a warranty), but it, too, applies only to the original purchaser, is only on certain models, and requires that the registration card was sent to S&W within 30 days of purchase. All the ins and outs of this are explained at the link.

          Not a bad warranty, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Hi-Point’s warranty.

    25. A Hi-Point is better than nothing. Most other guns are better than a Hi-Point.

      The people who say that Hi-Points are useless are wrong, but there’s also a reason that they cost $199. They aren’t as good as most more expensive guns. If you desperately need a gun and can’t afford anything better, a Hi-Point beats a Jimenez or most other low end pistols like that. But I’d take my Glock over a Hi-Point any day.

      1. I have a Hi-Point 45acp and only bought it because I had recently had elbow and wrist surgery and I didn’t want to spend a lot if I couldn’t handle the recoil of a 45 any longer. Is it Ugly YES – Is it Heavy YES. But I don’t buy a firearm for looks. Since my purchase I have put approximately 5000 rounds of different types of ammo through it and never had a single issue with it. Its as accurate today as the day I purchased it and probably more so today. As far as dependability it’s as good as my S&W tact.45acp.

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